Prominent Muslim Convert Leaves Church

Sadly, Magdi Allam, who was baptized a few years back, has left the Church.  His reason is that he feels it to be “too weak with Islam”.

As I mentioned here:

You can become Catholic, not so much to be Catholic as to extend the middle finger to the last Protestant sect you left behind in your hurt and anger. You establish an unwritten contract with God that, in becoming Catholic, you will show those clowns you left behind what for, and that the Church you are now embracing is Christ’s true and perfect Church (and, just between you and me, a Church worthy of me.

You cannot build a life on protest.  Let us pray for Mr. Allam that he comes to see the Church for what she is: the sacrament of Jesus Christ and not merely a cudgel for beating the Islamic life he remains strangely enthralled with.  For to hate something is to be bound to it as much as to love it.  Father, grant him the grace to seek Jesus Christ and not merely vengeance on Islam.  Mother Mary, pray for him.  We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Another warning to the rest of us against anointing folk heroes.  It’s hard enough being a new Catholic without having all those expectations placed on us.

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  • Sherry Weddell

    I had my concerns at the time of Allam’s baptism which I wrote about Did he seek baptism because he desired to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ or because it looked like a really dramatic way to reject Islam?

    Lots of research has been done recently into why something totally new in history is happening: Muslims are becoming Christians and here is a basic summary:

  • pittsburgh mama

    Although I didn’t think so at the time, my conversion was definitely very rooted in the “eff you many other things” mentality. (I was 20.) Frankly, I’m surprised the pastor and RCIA team didn’t do more to get me to slow down and actually encourage me to learn something about the faith. Thankfully God showed me what I needed when I was mature enough to handle it…four years later when my oldest was baptized.

    (And before that, I definitely remained obsessed with all the things that I had supposedly given up as part of my conversion.)

  • Ed

    Did Allam expect the Catholic Church to declare a Holy War or Crusade against Islam? If he did, he was sadly mistaken. Those days are long over for the Church. Peaceful coexistence(not approval of their beliefs) with Muslims,Jews, Hindus, etc. is the only viable option for the Catholic Church.

    • TMLutas

      The sad truth is that we are unconscionably lenient of muslim judicial practices, at least in the US. The concept of universal jurisdiction in courts that adopt physical punishments up to and including death penalties applied for various infractions should drive the US legal system batty. Instead, my observation is that we spend more effort monitoring fraternities from hazing than we do islamic jurisprudence incompatible with the US system.

      This should end. The Church should also forthrightly and evenhandedly examine the islamic death penalty as much as it examines the secular use of this punishment. It is not more acceptable if it is called a fatwa than if a secular court imposes it.

    • Elmwood

      I dabbled in pacifism, not in Nam’ of course, but the church isn’t pacifist and never will be. There are no catholic nations anymore and therefore no catholic armies to fight, only secular nations are left in the west. Besides, some of the vassals of Mordor are now western allies, like Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

      • JoFro

        And why are there no Catholic nations anymore?

        • kenneth

          Because people in the West decided that democracy and pluralism were much better ways to live than having their conscience dictated to them by the state’s force of arms and torture apparatus. For all our many problems, the West still sucks much less than the theocratic Islamic nations. The fact that their streets are full to the brim of young men willing or eager to die is not a testament to Islam’s self-confidence. It is an indicator that there is little worth living for in the intellectually and economically moribund and repressive societies which result from theocratic governance.

  • victor

    I’m not familiar with this situation at all and since that hasn’t stopped me from commenting in the past I’ll just say that it may already be too late for Allam to leave: once you go Papist, you never escapist (once you go Rome, you never go home? Once you convert you never go ‘blert’? Sorry, my witty sayings generator is on the fritz today). He’ll be back, whether he knows it yet or not, if not in this life then in the next.

    • midwestlady

      Not necessarily. Most people who leave don’t come back. This is news to many Catholics, but it’s true.
      [I'm not talking about technically leaving, like paperwork leaving. I'm talking about just walking out the door never to be seen again. It happens ALL THE TIME. The Church leaks like a big rusty sieve.]

      • kenneth

        When I left 25 years ago, I didn’t even think to level a demand that the Church launch a holy war on my command. I suppose it would be in poor taste to file such a request retroactively… I’m almost afraid to ask at the archdiocese where I filed my defection. They’re very efficient and thorough bureaucrats down there, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t have a form for Allam’s demands. “Demands to the Holy Father and bishops of the Church to Initiate Hostilities against Islam.” (All in Latin, of course, and on triplicate forms)!


    Conversion is a lifelong 24/7/365 process. Paul asked for prayers for his grace to stay with it and Jesus sweated blood in the Garden. LOVE not anger or revenge is the only motive for becoming a Catholic Christian and the only one that survives all the Satan tricks.

  • Sherry Weddell

    I fully admit that this may be cynical on my part, but I can’t help but wonder at the timing and the necessity to make a huge public statement. (If I felt compelled to leave, I’d quietly exit stage right.) I can’t help but think that 1) people with an agenda – ecclesial or political or both – encouraged this; and/or 2) Allam has a big need to be in the limelight.

    • midwestlady

      Yes, this is some kind of a game. Most people who leave just walk away never to be seen or heard from again.

      • TMLutas

        Perhaps one of the people hunting him to kill him got a bit too close and he is simply scared and wants to reduce the number of jihadists looking to end his life. That would be a perfectly sensible reason to advertise.

        • Mark Shea

          Complaining that the Church is not hostile enough to Islam is a weird way of not antagonizing Muslims.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    Although I agree with Mr. Shea entirely, I do understand the attraction of Islam, especially amongst young men. Islam has spine. Islam has guts. Islam believes what it believes and does not feel sorry for doing so. It’s easy to see how young men might find that attractive in our Western milquetoast culture.

    There is most definitely a place for the gentleness of Catholicism as seen in St. Francis, St. Theresa, or John Paul II. But there is also a place for St. Michael, St. George, and St. Joan of Arc. Jesus was the gentlest man ever, but there was no weakness about Him.

    Peter Kreeft has said it best: “You’ll never turn a bully into a pacifist. But you can turn him into a knight.”

    We need more Christian Knights in the world today.

    • Elmwood

      St. Moses the Black was a 4th century ‘gangsta’ who spread fear and violence around the Nile Valley. While he still delt out serious ass-whooping, he’s remembered for practicing non-violence at the end of his life. So, I would have to disagree with Peter Kreeft.

      • Christina

        From Wiki: “Moses had a rather difficult time adjusting to regular monastic discipline. His flair for adventure remained with him. Attacked by a group of robbers in his desert cell, Moses fought back, overpowered the intruders, and dragged them to the chapel where the other monks were at prayer.”

        Nope – still agree with Peter Kreeft. Only difference is you can turn a knight into a pacifist.

    • kenneth

      “We need more Christian Knights in the world.”……..

      That kind of talk is the best recruiting tool an Al Queda talent officer could ever hope for, outside of predator drones.

  • Sheldon

    I can sympathize with the muslim convert fellow. i think if most of the converts from protestantism read youcat, which seems to imply the Bible is not inerrant, they would leave too. I don’t agree with leaving, I am just saying, we have to pray that this post-conciliar liberalism goes away. Maybe it will take the Great Chastisement or the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as requested by our Lady of Fatima, but I am confident, the Church will eventually root out all the current disorientation that we have to live with.

    • Mark Shea

      Russia was already consecrated. The Great Chastisement is folk legend. Try listening to the Church and not to gossip from people who chase after private revelations.

  • Mark R

    Mr. S. (not for Shea),
    Islam only has a spine in the Western media. In itself it is very fragmented and the occasional recourse to violence does no speak to this spine very eloquently. As to its attraction to men, at least in my old neighborhood in Seattle the Muslim female univ. students seem to be the devout ones — for the men it is party time in the wild West.

    • TMLutas

      You have an interesting definition of occasional. Could you elaborate on it?

  • Pedro Erik

    Well, he is right to say that CatholIC Church has to stand up for his faith and defend christians before thinking in dialogue with other religions.

    It is bad that he left but we can understand his position. I pray for my Church and for the christians.

    By the way, the first saints under Pope Francis will be the martyrs because of the Islam (Martyrs of Otranto) on May 12.

  • antigon

    Mr. Not Shea: Just for the record, you are writing of the myths, not the reality, of St. Francois d’Asis. He was gentle pretty much the way his Lord was, no rubbery spine, & thus not the way you seem to use term.

    • Mark S. (not for Shea)

      I completely agree and hope I didn’t suggest otherwise. In my mind, St. Francis was one of the Top 5 greatest human beings to ever walk the planet.

      • midwestlady

        Yeah, maybe, but nobody’s actually figured out why yet. ROFLOL. He’s at once the most loved and most vague saint in the entire Church. People have a million opinions about him and about half of them are contradictory to the other half.

  • Peter

    I understand where this gentleman is coming from, and I find it tragic.

    The reality is that there are many in the Church who have (apparently) decided that preaching the Gospel to others is no longer acceptable and that we should stop evangelizing and start dialoging. In fact, as a convert myself, a couple of years ago I went through a period in which I thought of leaving the Catholic Church because of the undercurrent against the evangelization of others, especially Jews and Muslims. I remained in the Church in large part to my devotion to Mary and my belief that, eventually, those in the Church who do not truly support evangelization will either leave – or much, much preferable, realize they are wrong.

    I would like to make it clear that I agree that Muslims can be saved in ways only known to God as the Church teaches. I also think that we can’t either expect it, or view Islam as a salvific religion. This is essentially the teaching of the Church: it is also the teaching of the same Church that outside the Church there is no salvation.

    • TMLutas

      I am not aware how dialogue and evangelization are mutually exclusive. I’ve seen it baldly asserted elsewhere but never demonstrated. I have nothing against dialogue and there are areas where muslims and christians should be cooperating because we agree. We need to be civil in our cooperation but we should never stop evangelizing.

  • Sherry Weddell

    Ed Peters has a very interesting post on Allam’s announcement: Allam is a bad Catholic, not a non-Catholic.

  • Tom R

    Okay, two questions. (1) Where’s Mr Allam going to go now? Historically it was the Orthodox who were the front line of Christianity against Islam, but the rise of Russia as the Orthodox Italy, its internal demographics, and its geopolitical alliances mean that Putin (as we are reminded on this the 10th anniversary of the Second Iraq War) is going out of his way to court the Muslim world and hope the overlook a few dozen dead Chechens. The report doesn’t mention whether or not he’s planning to be received into the Protestant Church.
    (2) Since Allam’s an apostate, this means all Catholics are under a duty now to hunt him down and kill him? … Right…?

    • JoFro

      Actually, Russia seems to be one of the few Western nations that openly defends Christians (ok mostly Orthodox but it’s a start), so with Russia I see that manly disposition I see in Orthodoxy that I fail to see in Catholicism, even when Russia courts the Muslim world – what I’m trying to say is that it is not courting the Islamic world at the expense of the Christian minority living there.

      Your second point – well, I lol’d :D

      • Tom R

        Russia seems pretty assertive about defending Christianity, or at least the Eastern Orthodox version, against atheists/ feminists/ gays. Less so about re-litigating the current title to Byzantium. Maybe Moscow is concerned about not making life worse for Orthodox and Copts who live in Muslim-dominated countries.
        And why the LOL? I mean, once you read Dawkins or his intellectual children on the Internet, it’s so dazzlingly logical. 9/11 and the Rushdie fatwa were caused by Religion [TM]. Any half-competent scientist knows that experiments have to be replicable when the same causal factors are present. So… who’s first up to behead Allam? Come on, Mark, don’t leave it to Kathy Shaidle. The man who pronounces the sentence ought to swing the scimitar. Allam’s 24/7 police protection can’t keep out Martin Sheen or Mel Gibson forever.

  • Arnobius of Sicca

    I notice that when someone takes issue with the Church, the assumption is always that it is the Church that is wrong. Nobody ever seems to ask “Am I in the wrong here instead?”

  • Debra

    I can’t speak to Magda Allam’s or other converts’ motives. I became Catholic precisely because The Lord revealed His presence to me in the Eucharist. Where else could I go then? It was a major undertaking for me to learn about the Church and faith and start conforming my thinking and life to her teachings, a project I am still working on and will never fully complete. I can understand the attitude you wrote about to some degree, however, as since I made this choice I often find myself in the position if defending it. As for Allam, if nothing else, he clearly misunderstands the Church and how she works and and lacks patience. When his expectations aren’t quickly met, he bails. She moves on few things quickly, always seeking first the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. She’s also not guided by men alone. Perhaps, too, he has failed to remember our history. We have been that route before and the results of it were at times more than a little ugly and often widely devastating.

  • John Palubiski

    Magdi Allam lives under 24/7 protection armed protection

    He isn’t asking for The Church act as a mere cudgel to beat Islam. He wanted The Church to stand her ground; something that clearly is not happening.

    The Church has afforded Islam the status and legitimacy it never had. Islam seeks “dialogue” in an effort to enhance its status as an integral, historic and ESSENTIAL element of western civilisation.

    That said Dialogue is far from bogus; it is one of the most important war tools of war islam possesses.
    The other is sheer violence and terror.
    Since the beginning of the Iraq war the number of churches in the country ( many of which were Chaldean) has fallen from more than 300 to only about 50.
    In that same period the number of mosques in the West has increased by the thousands.
    Magdi Allam understands exactly how this war works.
    We have failed to listen to his warnings.

  • Kirt Higdon

    Pope Francis has urged us to strengthen dialogue with our Moslem brothers (his words). This is very much in the spirit of St. Francis who was one of many clerics who participated in dialogue with Moslems during the Middle Ages. Catholic observers from St. John of Damascus (one time treasurer to the Caliph of Damascus) to St. Thomas Aquinas to Hillaire Belloc have noted that Islam is a Christian heresy. We have dialogue with other heretics, don’t we? I have met a French Algerian priest whose father was a Moslem and who has preached to Moslem councils in Africa at their invitation. I’ve also met a Moslem nun from Africa whose mother is a Moslem and I used to work with a Lebanese Shia Moslem who converted to eastern Orthodox Christianity when he married a Christian Syrian/American girl. I highly recommend Peter Kreeft’s book Between Allah and Jesus: What Christians Can Learn from Moslems. Let the dialogue continue and increase.